[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Sodexo is working on a major shift that will change the food on Truman State students’ plates. Sodexo has announced that by 2020, it will serve exclusively cage-free eggs nationwide. The change began during 2014 with the move to cage-free shell eggs.
However, the bigger change will come when Sodexo switches to cage-free liquid eggs. Liquid eggs are used more extensively for Truman’s dining services, in everything from making scrambled eggs to acting as ingredients in dishes, says Lora Cunningham, dining services general manager.
“We only use shell eggs for hard cooked eggs, for over easy eggs or fried eggs,” Cunningham says. “Because we can keep control of it.”
Cunningham says it would be considerably difficult to buy more cage-free shell eggs and have them whipped and prepared by hand than to buy them already in liquid form.
“I can’t crack eggs today and whip them up and use them tomorrow, because they’ve now gone past their safe zone,” Cunningham says. “So to actually pay someone to get up every morning to get up and crack eggs so that we can make scrambled eggs doesn’t seem like good business sense to me.”
In addition, the liquid eggs Sodexo uses differ from shell eggs because they are packaged and formulated for a longer shelf life, Cunningham says. Without the added ingredients, such as citric acids, the eggs would discolor in the steam pans, she says.
“Like the old stories ‘Green Eggs and Ham,’ if you don’t put an acid in with them, such as a little bit of lemon juice or a little bit of lime juice, then … when you let them sit in a steam pan, when you go to stir them, the whole bottom is going to have a green hue to them,” Cunningham says. “Which don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with them. But the students aren’t going to want those.”
Cunningham says the first main obstacle in the way of obtaining cage-free liquid eggs was a recent avian flu outbreak.
“It’s getting a lot better, but we had probably four months there where we were having great difficulty even knowing if we were going to have enough eggs for the residence halls,” Cunningham says.
The difference in price also inhibits a quicker switch to cage-free. The cost for a case of cage-free liquid eggs is nearly double the cost of the eggs Sodexo currently uses, Cunningham says.
Cunningham says she hasn’t received much feedback from students wanting cage-free liquid eggs, and without a large demand, the process will take much longer.
However, Cunningham says they will be administering student surveys at dining halls Feb. 23, and students can indicate if they would like to see this change made in the comments section.[/vc_column_text][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5K9EeDBDhT4″][/vc_column][/vc_row]